January 11, 2017


A fun one class lesson for 5th graders.  Lots of vocabulary - Matisse; negative & positive space; printmaking; symmetry; balance; variety.

Students printed and stamped heart symbols on papers. Cut heart shapes.  No trash allowed!

These are going to look so cheerful hanging in the hall during these gloomy winter days!
Happy Cutting!

January 9, 2017


Kindergarten today.  Our last Jan Brett book - her adaptation of the Ukrainian folk tale The Mitten. 

Materials . . .
blue 9x12 construction paper
white tempera paint

We love Jan Brett's illustrations - her own version of the triptych.  In The Mitten, we looked for which animal was coming up next.  Of course the pictures are seen through the mitten shape!

Kindergarteners drew 'Y' trees, an animal from the story, and the mitten with the crayons then painted the ground and the trees with snow.  

Can you spot the mittens?

Don't you just love that porcupine?!
Stay warm - wear your mittens!
~ Kristin

January 6, 2017


4th Graders learn about the photographer Snowflake Bentley and the concept of negatives by making Gelli Monoprints.

Supplies . . .
Gelli plate
Acrlyic Paint
Printer Paper

Cut paper snowflakes . . .

Prepare Gelli plates with acrylic paint.  White paint for blue paper, blue paint for white paper.  Lay snowflake on top of plate.  Press and pull!

Happy Snow Days!


This mural was created in the last week before Christmas vacation begun by several classes.  Murals are a great way to do collaborative work when you have sporadic class times or inconsistent schedules.

.  .  . SNOWFLAKES . . . 8th grade

.  .  . BUFFALO Plaid Reindeer . . . 4th grade

Inspired by a page from the Pottery Barn Catalog.   One class wove plaid papers.  The other collaged them into reindeer.

.  .  . TINT & SHADE Pine Trees . . . 3rd grade

.  .  . GINGERBREAD Houses .  .  . Kindergarten

Inspired by another Jan Brett book The Gingerbread Baby  and the awesome box of cookies from Crate and Barrel.

Happy Winter!

January 5, 2017


Kindergarten paintings inspired by the book The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett.   White acrylic paint on purple construction paper.  Outlined with black crayon.

October 30, 2016


Bris house in the country

3rd grade Social Studies focuses on regions of the United States.  I love that the teachers start in New England, because as they/everyone knows

It started when I was 4 years old with the book Ox Cart Man, and continued through adolescents with New Kids, the Red Sox, and all the way to college where I spent four awesome years in Burlington, Vermont.

Yes, it's this beautiful....and then it snows 9 months.   This southern girl can't really handle that well!  So, it will always be in my heart, and a beautiful vacation destination, but Massachusetts will be as far North as I ever live again!

I digress....back to the assignment!   We start with a lesson and visuals on atmospheric perspective, overlapping, tints and color of background and sky.  
Rocky Mountains - Albert Bierstadt
Following that we study Grandma Moses and the style of folk art which has very deep foregrounds but still has the correct technique for the atmosphere and background.
July Fourth  by Grandma Moses
The students watch the Ox Cart Man Reading Rainbow Episode - my favorite of all time of course - and look at the illustrations by Barbara Cooney.

Then we begin our painting.  Kids get a limited pallet with two brushes - first flat or round medium brush, then a chubby fat one.  No water.  We go in a certain order so we don't need to wash.  


Using the medium brush, paint a high horizon line with the darker turquoise.  I use Dick Blick Student Tempera.

Paint ground with green.

Paint the background mountain range with the lighter turquoise paint; this one is Crayola brand.  I have them paint the line for the mountains and then fill in, all the way to the horizon line.

Grab some white and mix into the mountains to lighten them up.  The can even create a bit of overlapping here to show different mountains in the range.

Pick up the chubby brush and stipple in fluffy white clouds.

Stipple in a line of orange paint - these are the hills that are in the background but closer than the mountains. They have leaves that are changing colors so that we know it's fall!

Finally stipple in the red and let dry.

Next class we review the illustrations and discuss simple Folk Art style houses.  The kids draw one or two for the foreground and use sharpies for the windows and doors.

After gluing down they paint in a white fence.  We discuss balance of white clouds in the sky, white fence in the foreground; and the repetition of line in the fence.

Our beautiful fall folk art mixed media paintings are on display.  I can't wait for my daughter to get to 3rd grade to paint me one; I've already got the spot for it :)

Happy Autumn!